How do you get book reviews?
This is a time question since I am currently seeking reviewers for my latest novel, Perished: The World That Was (Volume 1). Over the years I have used different approaches. My primary approach in the past was to make use of First Wild Card reviews. However, that is no longer available.
So I have move on to a broader, and potentially, more effective approach. In this blog I will share with you some of this overall strategy. Let’s start now.
- As a member of KDP Select make use of Free Days. My first set of 2 days are November 3 – 4 (Thursday and Friday). I use this in conjunction with my inquiry, offering the reviewer a free Kindle copy.
- Emailing friends/relatives and inviting them to review my book. I offer them the free Kindle (on 3rd and 4th).
- Research and contact actual book reviewers, offering them the free Kindle, a PDF copy, a ePub copy, a Mobi copy, or a paperback.
- Make use of a Goodreads review request.
I can ask friends?
Yes. But don’t be surprised if they don’t respond. Friends want you to succeed, but for a variety of personal reasons may not want to be a reviewer. It’s not personal, so don’t take it personally.
What are the results?
Since I just began using this strategy it is too early to be concerned about results, although I have already had three positives replies. This is an ongoing process that will take weeks and maybe months for me to complete.
In number 3 above I mentioned research. I used Indie Book Reviewers, although there are others out there.
How many book reviewers do you need?
I have heard several different answers to this. One is to get as many reviewers as possible. I totally agree with that as a long term goal. But short term I believe your goal should be a minimum of twenty. (If you fail to get twenty it is not a disaster. It’s a goal not a requirement.)
Who can review a book?
There are different types of reviewers. The Indie list covers those men and women who are professional in their approach yet charge no fee. (Using paid reviewers on a limited bases may be ok, but don’t build on them.) Then you have the more casual reviewer who occasionally reviews a book, but still takes the job of reviewing seriously. Finally, there are those who may never have reviewed a book before, but love to read.
All of these are acceptable. Try for a mix, if possible. You can find lists like the Indie Reviewers by Googling ‘book reviewers’ or something similar.
When doing your research remember that not all reviewers are interested in your particular genre. If possible visit their website and discover their likes and dislikes. And are they accepting books for review and what format they require?
How do you ask for a review?
This varies according to the type of review you are seeking. For example, when contacting friends/relatives your approach is more personal. You are actually asking for a favor, so I suggest you begin with “may I ask a favor of you?” or something along that line.
With the others you want a more professional approach. I will show an example in a moment.
There are at least two ways of doing this. One is to send out an email to all your potential reviewers at one time. This has the benefit of saving you time. But different reviewers have different requirements and a one letter fits all approach could backfire. I prefer one reviewer at a time. Requires more time and effort, but allows for a more personal and accurate approach.
Did you get the idea that seeking reviewers is work? Good, because it is. But don’t be afraid of it. Book reviews can be beneficial to your marketing efforts. With that in mind, what follows is an example of valuable content to include in your inquiry.
But no matter who you are asking or how you contact them you need to provide them with certain information. So with that in mind here is an example of information I recently sent out: (The highlighted parts are necessary.)
- Title: Perished: The World That Was (Volume 1)
- Publisher: T&R Independent Books (http://tr-indbkstore.com)
- Published: 10-12-16 using Create Space publishing platform
- Author: R. Frederick Riddle
- Pages: 469 (paperback)
- Reading age: 18+
- ASIN: B01M4IDHNY
- ISBN: 1537476378
- ISBN-13: 978-1537476377
I also provided a brief description of the book. (Some reviewers may request an excerpt.)
Here’s my example:
Based on the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis this story brings to life the Bible especially as it relates to places, events, and people. You get to meet and know such people as Adam, Eve, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah as well as Cain and his descendants.
And remember to thank them. You are asking them to do something for you and that includes taking the time to read your inquiry. So thank them.
In conclusion, let me add that while this is a blog and not a inquiry, if any of you readers would like to review my book, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And thank you!
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R Frederick Riddle is co-founder and vice president of T&R Independent Books, an author of six novels, and blogger. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page.